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As a business owner, you likely see your employees quit the company or change roles. But do you ever wonder what happens to their access to your software and network services?

This is where deprovisioning comes into play. It’s all about revoking access permissions and deleting user accounts when someone no longer needs them. It keeps your systems secure and efficient.

In this article, we’ll discuss the deprovisioning process in detail. We’ll also talk about its importance in IT management.

What Is Deprovisioning?

Deprovisioning is the process of removing user access rights and permissions from several systems. This usually happens when an employee leaves the company or changes roles. 

It prevents unauthorized access to sensitive company data and resources.

Deprovisioning is the opposite of access provisioning, which grants permissions to users. However, both processes are important parts of user lifecycle management.

How Deprovisioning Works

When an employee leaves or moves to a different role, the IT team must act quickly to ensure security. Here’s how deprovisioning works:

  • Identify accounts and permissions: The first step is to identify the employee’s user accounts and permissions. This includes access to email, databases, internal systems, and third-party applications.
  • Remove access: Next, the IT team removes or disables access permission to these accounts. This can be done manually or through automated systems.
  • Reassign data and responsibilities: With deprovisioning technology, IT staff can automatically assign access permissions and work to other team members. This keeps operations running smoothly.
  • Audit and verify: Finally, the IT team conducts audits to verify if user access has been revoked and no permissions were overlooked.

woman holding a box with her belongings and a resignation sign

Why Is User Deprovisioning Important?

After understanding what deprovisioning is and how it works, you may be curious to know why it’s important for your business. Below are the reasons why:

Enhance Security

Security is the most obvious reason.

When employees leave or change roles, they should no longer have access to your systems. If you don’t remove IT access, former employees could misuse their permissions. This can lead to data breaches, theft, or other malicious activities.

Deprovisioning prevents unauthorized access and mitigates insider threats.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Proper deprovisioning also improves your operational efficiency.

Inactive or orphaned accounts can clutter your system and make it harder for IT teams to manage. Removing these accounts using identity and access management systems can streamline user management. 

This means less time spent on repetitive tasks and more focus on important business aspects.

Protect Sensitive Data

Deprovisioning also keeps your company’s confidential information secure.

It ensures that only current and authorized employees have access to critical systems. This prevents potential security breaches and protects your intellectual property.

Meet Compliance

Many industries have strict regulations about who can access certain types of data.

Fortunately, deprovisioning helps you stay compliant with these regulations. It instantly removes access permissions when employees leave to prevent non-compliance and data exposure. 

It can save you from hefty fines and legal troubles down the line.

Reduce Costs

Orphaned accounts can also lead to unnecessary costs. For example, if you’re paying for software licenses based on the number of users, inactive accounts can increase the total price.

Failure to remove user account access also means more work for IT teams. They may need to address issues caused by data breaches. If not, it can result in operational downtime, which costs your business money.

With user deprovisioning, you can reduce these expenses and manage your budget more effectively.

Maintain System Integrity

Finally, deprovisioning helps maintain the integrity of your systems.

When employees leave, they may have data or projects that need to be reassigned. Proper deprovisioning makes sure that this transition happens smoothly. It provides access to user accounts based on their roles and responsibilities. 

This keeps your systems organized and functioning properly.

Key Components of an Effective Deprovisioning System

If you want to enjoy all the benefits of deprovisioning, you must choose a reliable software system. Here are the key components to look out for:

User Account and Access Management

Managing user accounts and their access rights is central to deprovisioning.

You should choose an access management solution with clear user access policies. With these, you can quickly identify which accounts and permissions an employee has. These usually include emails, software applications, network devices, and third-party apps.

Using this solution helps you revoke access immediately once an employee leaves or changes roles.

Data Management

Data management is another important feature to consider.

When deprovisioning an employee, you must decide what to do with their data. This could involve transferring important files to other team members, archiving data for future reference, or deleting it if it’s no longer needed.

Choosing a system with effective data management means no valuable company information is lost. You can also keep sensitive data protected against unauthorized access.


The manual process of revoking access requests and permissions is time-consuming and prone to errors.

Consider automated deprovisioning systems to remove access, update permissions, and transfer data without human intervention. These systems can save time and free up your IT team so they can focus on more important tasks. 

They can also reduce the risk of human error associated with manual efforts.

Integration Capabilities

If you want a smooth deprovisioning process, your system should integrate with other solutions. Check if it connects seamlessly to directory services, software applications, and HR management systems like Ceridian.

Thanks to this integration, you can keep all relevant systems updated at once when an employee leaves or changes roles. You don’t have to worry about overlooked accounts and permissions.

Audit and Reporting

You should also look for systems with audit and reporting capabilities. Both features help you maintain regulatory compliance.

Audits help you verify that deprovisioning processes are followed correctly.

Meanwhile, reporting tools provide insights into which employees have access to what resources. They can also record deprovisioning actions, which are useful for internal and external audits.

Best Practices for Deprovisioning

Choosing the right deprovisioning system is just the first step. You must follow best practices to guarantee secure and efficient operations. Let’s take a closer look below:

Develop a Clear Policy

Start by developing a clear deprovisioning policy.

You must outline the steps to take when an employee leaves or changes roles.

You should also specify who is responsible for each task. For example, the HR team is required to notify the IT department when an employee resigns. Then, the IT staff will promptly remove access.

It’s also helpful to set timelines for when these tasks should be completed. This keeps everyone on the same page and reduces the risk of oversight.

Conduct Regular Audits

You must conduct regular audits to ensure the deprovisioning process is followed correctly.

You can also find any gaps in your security with routine audits. Armed with these insights, you can address issues promptly and prevent serious consequences.

Consider Automated Deprovisioning

If you want to simplify user deprovisioning, you can use automated systems.

With these tools, you can automatically revoke access, change permissions, and manage employee data. You don’t have to worry about the risk of human error because automation does everything for you.

Plus, you save time and improve efficiency by automating processes.

Train IT Staff

It’s important to train your IT staff with new technologies and best practices.

You can conduct regular training sessions to teach your team how to use the latest tools. You can also host meetings to help them understand the importance of deprovisioning.

You’ll find that well-trained staff are better equipped to manage employee identity lifecycle.

Monitor and Improve

Lastly, you should closely monitor the deprovisioning process.

Use a system with analytics and reporting abilities to track your system’s performance. You can leverage data to determine areas for improvement.

You can also gather feedback from your team. Ask them about the pain points in the current system.

Then, based on your findings, you can update and improve the existing process in place. Doing so keeps it secure and effective for the long term.

Automate User Deprovisioning with ezOnboard

Automate Employee Lifecycle Updates to AD with ezOnboard

ezOnboard by CloudView Partners automates access deprovisioning by seamlessly integrating your existing HR system with Active Directory (AD).

Once connected, this software can automatically trigger the deactivation of the employee’s AD account. It also revokes access to internal systems, databases, applications, and any other resources the employee had permission for.

By automating these tasks, ezOnboard can protect sensitive company data and information without manual effort. Your company can save time and enjoy smoother employee offboarding.

To get started, request a demo today or check the ROI calculator to see how much money ezOnboard can save you.

FAQs About Deprovisioning

What is the difference between provisioning and deprovisioning?

User provisioning is all about granting employees access to necessary systems and resources. Deprovisioning is the opposite—it removes permissions when they’re no longer needed.

How can I automate user provisioning and deprovisioning?

You can use specialized software to automate your user provisioning and deprovisioning process. With this system, you can automatically remove user access, update permissions, and handle data transfers.

What are the benefits of automated user provisioning and deprovisioning?

Automated provisioning and de-provisioning offer several benefits, such as increased security and efficiency. Automation also helps minimize errors, meet regulatory requirements, and reduce costs.


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